Kit and I waited at a rural church in Fiji for a group of students to gather. We had been asked to talk candidly about sex and relationships. A big frog came hopping down the main aisle. I thought, This is different. When a second frog joined the first, snapping up bugs between the pews, I decided that we needed to run them out. The village children shrieked with laughter at my efforts to chase the frogs between the pews. Finally, with the frogs flushed out, we started the meeting.
The meeting started with some melodic Fijian songs. Enchanting moments like that are a delightful benefit of serving overseas. But during the singing, more huge frogs joined us through the open door. By the time we stood to speak, tongue-snapping frogs hopped all around our feet. The frogs became a constant distraction to us.
Afterwards I fumed, “Lord, it’s hard enough trying to speak in another country, to a different culture and age group, without having to worry about stepping on frogs!” God immediately revealed to me my wrong attitude. I had been more concerned about showing how well I could speak than I was about the message the Fijians received. They didn’t care about the frogs.
Thinking less about looking good and genuinely serving others despite distractions can provide us with a world of opportunities. Kit and I have spoken in thirty-nine countries outside the US, in some of the countries many times. Almost always, circumstances made the task difficult. “Frog on the floor,” we whisper to each other. We have learned to love them.